Subtle inaccuracies in depictions of your city/region in fiction

Netflix’s “Outer Banks” famously claimed that you could take a ferry from the outer banks to Chapel Hill across 250 miles of dry land. Everyone in NC had a good laugh at that one.

Seriously?! I mean…that’s not a subtle mistake. Did the producers somehow think that Chapel Hill was on the Pamlico Sound?

There aren’t a ton of shows/movies set in Atlanta (while a substantial amount are filmed here), but Baby Driver got a few things wrong that apparently are common for movies to get wrong about cities. For one in the initial heist, there is no way one could drive through all those neighborhoods and especially not in order. Also that seemed like a substantially large old-style diner in the middle of Atlanta. And they call Buford Highway as “the Buford Highway”… no one here uses ‘the’ in front of streets.

My bad, I mis-remembered. By the time I got into the nuke business, Titan IIs were just a fond bad memory.

When I lived in Salt Lake City, I was surprised to see that just about every mystery set in Utah manages to mangle the geography. It started with the very first Sherlock Holmes story – the second half of A Study in Scarlet tells the backstory of the murder, telling about the Mormons emigrating to what would become Salt Lake City by walking across The Great Alkali Plain (the Great Salt Desert).

Except the Mormons didn’t walk across The Great Alkali Plain to get to what was Salt Lake City – it’s to the west of town, and the Mormons were coming from the east. They came down lush, green Emigration Canyon, in fact.

But it made for a picturesque sequence.

I then noticed that other mysteries set in SLC screwed up the geography, too – Thomas Cook’s Tabernacle, various other short stories, even the accounts of the Hoffman murders written by out-of-towners. The only mystery writer that got it right was Robert Irvine in his Moroni Traveler mysteries. But he was from SLC.

In the Mel Gibson / Goldie Hawn movie ‘Bird on a Wire’, they take a ferry boat from Detroit to Racine, Wisconsin. Pretty neat trick, since Racine is across Lake Michigan on the west side of Michigan, and Detroit is all the way over on the other side of the state.

There’s not much I can contribute here, since Cleveland seldom features in fiction written by non-locals… But there is a classic science fiction story that involves a large object from space (actually a huge person) landing in Lake Erie, and causing a tsunami to wash over the city.

Except that most of the city is high above the water level, and the lake is very shallow for its size, enough so that no tsunami could ever wipe out more than a few waterfront tourist sites.

One that always bugged me was the costuming in Big Bang Theory. They were in Pasadena, and referred to the city frequently, along with street names, etc. Pasadena, of course, is part of greater Los Angeles - sunny southern California. So why are these characters wearing jackets and sweaters all the time, including indoors? Just dumb.

photo of cast in usual costume

Same goes for Psych, mentioned above as Canada doesn’t really look like Santa Barbara, but the costuming was off as well. They were far too bundled up for SB!

By the way, I actually visited the Psych office in Vancouver. It wasn’t much to look at, but we were in the neighborhood and as a huge Psych fan I just had to see it!

Some New Orleans accents sound more like New Jersey to me.

Hey, writers/producers/execs! If you’re going to shoot your TV show in Vancouver, why not just set it there? Same with L.A.

I mean, would anyone not watch Monk if they shot it in SF, or just changed it to a detective in LA?

As an Angeleno, I can attest to the fact that as soon as the temperature falls below 70 F, the parkas come out. I had a customer from the East Coast who loved to show up early for morning meetings in December just to watch all the bundled up people struggling into work in the harsh LA winter :smile:

They also explained why Leonard always layered with a hoodie in universe.

There’s a crappy sci-fi horror The Being that is set in “Pottsville, Idaho” which punctuates the stories with bits of a twangy, good ol’ boy radio DJ, but no one born and raised here has that accent.

Isn’t the film set in North Dakota?

Can you elucidate? The Google Maps outline of Greenwich puts the North Greenwich Station in the boundaries of Greenwich but they could be mistaken.

There was some thriller I saw in which the protagonist was being chased across the country. At one point he was supposedly in the Dayton airport but whatever location they were using was clearly much bigger and newer than the Dayton airport. My immediate thought was “that’s not Dayton.”

But stuff like this doesn’t really matter. I was just happy to have my hometown mentioned.

In a crossover episode of CSI and Without a Trace they trace a suspect to Tucson, Arizona. They show an aerial photograph of Tucson. The metropolitan population of Tucson is about 900,000. The photo showed a town of about 50 houses.

Years ago - maybe 30 - someone I know had a Harlequin recommended to them, because it took place in Madison, Wisconsin. Well, not a Madison that really exists. At the time nobody registered a political party to vote, but they did in the book. You just showed up with ID and proof of your address at the polling place. They called East Washington Avenue (East Wash to most people) Washington Avenue; since there is also a West Washington Avenue, you can see why just calling a street Washington Avenue is out. They put something that is clearly not Helen C. White where Helen C. White is. It went on and on.

Yeah, I wish it hadnt been canceled. :cry:

The amount of cannibalism in Santa Clarita has been significantly exaggerated. :man_cook:

Yeahbut - Raj always in a sweater-vest and jacket, Howard always in a turtleneck and shirt…

peccavi - I’m also an Angeleno, and that still doesn’t account for the 11 months of the year with temps above 80.